If Memory Serves…Vivian Girls are Back

Ten years ago, seemingly everyone interested or involved in the overlapping worlds of punk and indie rock held strong opinions about Vivian Girls. Many of us enjoyed the dreamy, lo-fi ride, from the 2008 arrival of the band’s classic debut album to its final shows in 2014. Others seemed terrified of what’d taken root on their garage-punk playground, flooding certain un-dearly departed comment sections with boorish and bro-ish trolling. Seriously, it’s perfectly okay to dislike any band, but you’ve got issues and way too much time on your hands if that inspires anonymous insults and threats.

This fall, the classic lineup of guitarist Cassie Ramone (The Babies), bassist Katy Goodman (La Sera) and drummer Ali Koehler (Best Coast, Upset) returns to recapture their past magic in a post-#metoo indie scene that, surely to goodness, will be less up in arms about their deserved popularity and immense creativity.

New album Memory, featuring lead single “Sick,” arrives via Polyvinyl on Sept. 20. That same day, the label will reissue remastered versions of the band’s first two albums, 2008’s self-titled debut and 2009’s Everything Goes Wrong. A third album, 2011’s Share the Joy, already resides in the Polyvinyl catalog.

Per a press release, the new songs cover “personal reflections on toxic relationships, the false promise of new love, mental health struggles and finding ways to accept oneself amidst it all.” These confessional themes suit the wobbly balance between the band’s pop harmonies and the sonic unease it learned from The Wipers.

A fall tour begins in October near the members’ California homes before making its way to the Northeast and the Midwest. That means there’s no return trip to Southern Comfort… yet.

Photo by Neil Kryszak.